Illegal Job Interview Questions: What’s the Worst Question You’ve Been Asked?

As if job interviews aren’t tough enough already!

My friend Gloria Neal at Channel 4 posted a great blog that addresses the types of questions that are not only inappropriate for an employer to ask during a job interview, but are ILLEGAL to ask.  Click here to read Gloria’s blog that lists illegal questions.

Of course, I believe that most employers are well-versed on the types of questions that are allowable.  The questions were deemed illegal in order to prevent discrimination in hiring based on age, race, gender and sexual orientation.

I remember one time I was interviewing a prospective employee for a Director of Sales position at Frontier Airlines.  They had a very interesting last name and I asked “Where are you from?”  The HR recruiter who was with me grimaced and kicked me under the table and later explained that this was an example of an illegal question.

If you feel you have been discriminated during the hiring process, contact the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission by clicking here

What’s the worst question you’ve ever been asked during a job interview and how did you handle it?



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2 responses to “Illegal Job Interview Questions: What’s the Worst Question You’ve Been Asked?

  1. Beth

    During an interview for a possible promotion — which meant I was being interviewed by a team of people who already knew me, and knew that I had just gotten married a month prior to this interview — I was asked, “So, now that you are married, do you think that you’ll be having kids soon and how would that affect this position and this department?”
    BEEP. The alarms in my head went off. There was no HR person in the room to kick that guy under the table. So, I politely said, with a smile, “Well, if you are asking whether I plan to get pregnant soon, I believe that question isn’t legal… however, if you are asking whether I am committed to seeing this initiative through from start to finish, the answer is, ‘yes.'”
    It satisfied them. I got the job.

  2. One of the important things for job seekers to remember is that they will probably be researched online during the process. A young woman asked me one time to review her online presence because she wasn’t getting any interviews. Her LinkedIn profile was stellar – but on her Facebook page, she talked about how her fiance was taking a job out of state and she would probably be moving within six months. Obviously, this wasn’t something that could be discussed in an interview, but she’d eliminated herself from the process before it even got that far! It’s wise to remember that employers are asking questions during an interview – and doing additional research about a potential candidate.

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